Finalists revealed for 2024 GeekWire Awards | Amazon’s latest AI feature for sellers

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Finalists revealed for 2024 GeekWire Awards: It’s time to vote for the best in Pacific Northwest tech as we prepare to honor entrepreneurs, innovators, deal makers and non-profit leaders across more than a dozen categories, from Startup of the Year to Next Tech Titan. Cast your ballot here. Voting runs through April 12 and we’ll announce the winners live onstage at Showbox SoDo in Seattle on May 9. (Above, Viraj Mody, left, and Linda Lian, co-founders of Common Room, accept the Startup of the Year award at the 2022 GeekWire Awards.) Read more. 

Funding female founders: Pam Kostka, a longtime tech leader and the former CEO of nonprofit All Raise, laid out four key issues that need to be addressed to help boost funding for startups founded by women. Kostka (above, left) spoke at a Graham & Walker event on Tuesday in Seattle with the firm’s founder Leslie Feinzaig. 

The Redmond (Wash.) Police Department is adding a new tech tool in its fight against fentanyl and other illicit drugs. The handheld device TruNarc uses a laser to analyze substances through packaging, protecting officers and preserving evidence. Read more.  

Amazon’s latest AI feature for sellers: Input a URL, get a product listing. Read more.

Tech Moves: Lila Tretikov, the former deputy chief technology officer at Microsoft, has joined SIlicon Valley investment firm NEA as partner and its new head of AI strategy. Read more.

It was just a year ago when rumors and speculation circulated about Microsoft buying TikTok. Now, with the U.S. House of Representatives passing a bill today that could ban the popular social media app unless its China-based parent company sells it, will Microsoft make a bid?

  • Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) sent the following statement to GeekWire: “I’m very concerned about foreign adversaries’ exploitation of Americans’ sensitive data and their attempts to build backdoors in our information communication technology and services supply chains. These are national security threats and it is good members in both chambers are taking them seriously. I will be talking to my Senate and House colleagues to try to find a path forward that is constitutional and protects civil liberties.”

“AI is going to force us to be even more human if we want to differentiate ourselves from the world.” — Yoodli co-founder Varun Puri on a new episode of the Shift AI Podcast with Boaz Ashkenazy. Read more and listen.

Tips to snag non-dilutive funding: Richard Giersch, executive director of Life Science Washington Institute, shared advice for founders on how to land small business grants at a recent talk in Seattle. Read more.

Hot Links:

  • Microsoft is rolling out Copilot for Security, a generative AI chatbot for cybersecurity that charges companies on an hourly basis. (The Verge)

  • Hyundai is hosting mobile clinics at four locations in the Seattle area on Friday and Saturday where car owners can get anti-theft devices installed in their vehicles. (Hyundai)

  • Inside the organized crime rings plaguing retailers, where at least one operation led to stolen cosmetics items being resold on Amazon. (CNBC)

  • A new initiative aims to fill the employment gap in the manufacturing industry by helping young people get necessary education and training. (Edmonds College)

Thanks for subscribing to the GeekWire newsletter, and have a great day. — GeekWire managing editor Taylor Soper, taylor@geekwire.com; GeekWire reporter Kurt Schlosser, kurt@geekwire.com; and GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop, todd@geekwire.com.
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